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Florida Democratic Party chair chips in $100K during Q1 of 2017

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The Florida Democratic Party got a $100,000 boost from their new chair last month according to new finance documents filed with the Florida Division of Elections. Stephen Bittel has been in place as the Democratic Party chair since January, when the Miami-Dade Democrat won a five-way race for the position with 55 percent of the vote. Bittel’s $100,000 infusion was the largest single contribution the party took in for the month, which saw it bring in a little over $840,000.…

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Janet Cruz’s ‘tough haul,’ frustrations of the Democratic House caucus

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In Tampa, Florida Democratic Party Chair Stephen Bittel waxed optimistically last month about the Democrats’ chance of winning back the state Senate in 2020. Notably, he didn’t say anything about the House, where Republicans outnumber Democrats, 79-41. Tampa Rep. Janet Cruz, serving the first year of a two-year stint as Minority Leader and four weeks into the 2017 Session, admits it’s been a tough haul. “I feel like we’re spending so much time on bills that in caucus meetings, we’ve grown to call them ‘dead…

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2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidates to speak in St. Petersburg Saturday

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Four potential or actual Democratic candidates running for governor next year will speak in St. Petersburg on Saturday night. Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum, Central Florida businessman Chris King, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and former Tallahassee Congresswoman Gwen Graham will speak at the Democratic County Chairs Association (DCCA) weekend-long retreat kicking off at the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park. Gillum and King are officially in the race. Levine is testing the waters, while Graham continues to inch closer to an announcement. The…

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Search for Florida Democratic Party’s next Executive Director continues

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An official with the Florida Democratic Party says that while the search to find a successor to Scott Arceneaux as executive director of the Florida Democratic Party does include Jonathan Ducote and Josh Wolf, it is by no means limited to those two candidates. Juan Penalosa, who is working with newly elected FDP Chair Stephen Bittel on his transition team, tells FloridaPolitics that the search to replace Arceneaux remains a national search, and goes beyond Ducote and Wolf. He does say that the two are…

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Groundhog Day for Democrats: Selecting the Party chair

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Democrats in Florida and at the national level have a similar problem. In both cases, there are more Democratic voters than Republicans, but in both cases, the Republican candidates have trounced the Democrats. Between 2009 and 2016, which coincides with the terms of Barack Obama as president, Democratic candidates suffered heavier casualties than many military divisions. Democrats lost 11 Senate seats (-16 percent), lost 62 House seats (-24 percent) and, in the biggest surprise, lost control of the White House.…

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Alan Clendenin is undecided on who to vote for in DNC Chair race

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The 447 members of the Democratic National Committee that will get together for the party’s four-day spring meeting in Atlanta beginning next Thursday have an important decision – who will lead the Democratic Party over the next four years? The two best known candidates are Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison and Tom Perez, the Dept. of Labor Secretary under Barack Obama. “If I was a betting man, I’d say that Perez has the edge,” says Alan Clendenin, a DNC Commiteeman from Tampa…

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Hillsborough County Dems add 44 new committee members at January meeting

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For Democrats, Donald Trump might be making life a hell on earth. But the president is successful in one thing — uniting them in a way missing throughout the 2016 campaign. Take the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee, for instance. On Monday night, the local party added 44 new members to its organization at its monthly meeting at the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County in Ybor City. It was the third consecutive standing room only meeting for the local party,…

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